Resource mailboxes have been around for a few versions of Exchange Server, and Exchange Server 2013 brings us a few improvements in how they are managed.
There are two types of resource mailboxes:
- Room mailboxes are for fixed locations such as meeting rooms or conference facilities
- Equipment mailboxes are for items that are not fixed to a location, such as laptops or vehicles
Exchange 2013 puts resource mailboxes under their own section of the Exchange Administration Center. Both room and equipment mailboxes are managed in this same section.
One of the immediate improvements is that you are able to set the booking policy or assign delegates during the creation of the resource mailbox, rather than as a secondary task after the mailbox is created.
After the mailbox has been created there are a few additional properties you can customize. The booking options can be further tuned with regards to recurring meetings, booking horizon, and custom replies.
You can also easily configure a MailTip for the resource mailbox.
The text that you place in the MailTip will appear automatically when people add the room or resource mailbox to a meeting request in Outlook. Although in my opinion the MailTip needs some color to draw the person’s attention to it.
Finally, an interesting default setting is the disabling of email address policies. This does make sense as most resource mailboxes are for internal use only, so having email address policies assigning multiple SMTP addresses to resource mailboxes is usually not necessary.
Overall it appears that room and resource mailboxes are a feature that has matured over the previous versions of Exchange Server and now receive just a few minor improvements to make them simpler to manage.